It couldn’t have been better!
Winning the Helly Hansen Killarney Adventure Race 2012 last weekend was the perfect end to a hard, intesnse season – which saw 6 demanding races packed into 4 months.
About the Race
I travelled to Ireland with a group of friends from Zurich who also competed in the 67km event.
The route was quite demanding, not because of the amount of height metres that needed to be climbed so much as the technical nature of the hill runs. The race began with a fast run up and down Strickeen hill in the Gap of Dunloe (7.5km) followed by a bike stage through the Gap of Dunloe into the Black Valley, up to Molls Gap/Ladies View and down to upper Lough Leane (35km). Next, a short kayak followed by a hard 18km run from the lakeshore up to the Devil’s Punchbowl on Mangerton Mountain (839m). Then, a descent of Mangerton back to the bikes at the lakeshore for a short ride of 4.5km to the finish line at Muckross House.
The breakdown and maps can be viewed here
Above, a photo taken by Valerie O’Sullivan on Strickeen, the first run stage, overlooking low-lying clouds over what would be Killarney and the lakes.
The race was one of the best organized I have taken part in, from pre-communications, to the check-in and registration at Kate Kearney’s Cottage the night before right through to the finish-line where you received a print-out of your time and position on the spot.
I finished in 1st place in a time of 4 hours 33mins and in 18th position overall. Although I had been aiming for a time of four and a half hours, I didn’t expect the standard of the men’s field to be so high (I had hoped to be within 30 minutes of the 1st male winner). The men’s winner Tim O’Donoghue was 55 minutes ahead of me!
Full results here
Another event review in the Irish Times blog
I am officially in off-season mode! It is hard to wind down from such an intense few months. Although I miss the activity levels, I have felt my body hasn’t been recovering well from hard sessions over the last month since the Inferno triathlon, there are twinges in muscles, signs of wear and tear that needs rest in order to repair properly.
I will take 2 weeks of full rest now, just some light exercise and strength and conditioning sessions. Then, return slowly to training with a focus on conditioning for a month or so to strengthen areas I have neglected while I was in race-mode this year.
Without going into too much detail. I plan to not compete in multi-sport events next year and focus exclusively on cycling. This is a big departure for me – but for a while I have seen my strength lies on the bike and I have been curious to see how far I can go if I focus on one thing. I have great support behind me from www.stct.ch the top amateur team in the region.
I am already excited to see what 2013 has in store!